APP2: Beginning to go through the archives

For my last blog post I detailed the process involved in starting the project, and gaining access to the archive information, which can be read here. Going through this information will take some time, so I intend on writing more frequent, but much shorter posts documenting my findings. It has been some time since I last covered this project on my blog as both the dissertation and first Advanced Practical Project commanded the vast majority of my attention.

I decided I would start by looking through the large blue lever arch file containing the St. John’s Church parish magazine sections that contain information about the St. Luke’s area, that would eventually become a parish in its own right from 1908. The parish was not legally one though until 1911.

Below is a sheet of paper with notes that I made of information that was of interest. It does not look like much, but the archivist had previously informed me that many of the most important pieces of information had been found and documented on the display boards for the 2010 centenary celebrations of St. Luke’s Church.

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I also took various photos of things throughout, such as drawings of proposed buildings and pieces of text that were of particular interest. Below I have placed a few of these.
The importance of these is that they will form a ‘shortlist’ of information that can then be placed into the book. The below St. John’s Church booklet detailing its own history featured a couple of interesting small illustrations that I thought did remarkably well at capturing the character of the church.

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Looking through copies of the old parish magazines from the 1900s, it is clear to see that illustrations are used carefully to detail a point, when photography was not at all common. I think there is a beautiful quality to these illustrations, whether they are line drawings or more detailed illustrations. While not containing as much detail as photograph, these illustrations are neatly produced to capture the details that helps the reader to build a reliable image in their mind of what the buildings would look like or did look like, in the case of St. Luke’s School, which can be seen below.

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Below are two pieces of information detailing the creation of the new parish of St. Luke’s.

IMG_4996 IMG_4987_blogI then started going through the A2 green file containing the display pieces put on show for the Church’s centenary celebrations, taking photographs of everything to create a background reference. This includes taking photographs of the photos throughout, as I need to ascertain whether I will get better quality images by taking photographs or scanning the images in at a high quality. This process is still on-going, and will be covered in a future blog post.

Conclusion:

Now I have looked through the information, found it to be highly valuable, and ‘shortlisted’ the information that is most relevant (including the files on the memory stick) I will now be able to plan out the book’s structure.

What I will also need to do shortly is to look through the shortlisted information in greater detail and start picking out sections of text to be used, either in their current form or adapted to create the text section of the book. Images will be focused on when I work out whether a higher quality can be achieved by taking photos or scanning reference images.

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